What do like to wear? I have issues with many when it comes to comfort-I generally don’t wear one, but have it on deck instead. In rough weather, I’ll put it on.

Any of you use the CO2 inflatable ones?

Kokatat Msfit
I feel pretty

Oh so pretty

Hey, lots of macho, manly men like myself find this pfd very comfortable. Also very comfortable is the eagle model from Extrasport… the pfd is labelled ‘eagle’ but I swear the tag said ‘osprey’… both very macho, manly birds.

I agree
I also wear the msfit and would recommend it. However, I would stay away from the flower pattern.

CO2 activated pfd
I use a CO2 activated pfd for several reasons. It is comfortable. Once activated it provides 35 lbs. of floatation wrapped around the neck that holds the face out of the water. And if a power boat comes out of the fog bearing down on you, having the option of turning over and swimming down is of some comfort.

Wear one all the time, on the water at least.

For paddling on my own, Astral Hybrid mostly for comfort and low volume. Don’t need cartridges with it.

For whitewater the Astral Aquavest 300R of course.

Looking forward to getting my new Astral Green Jacket for when I’m on whitewater and instructing. The additional floatation is noticeable as compared to the Hybrid (uniflated). Also the manuverability and freedom of movement of the new Green Jacket is outstanding for a full floatation jacket. Based upon the Newton but with a lot of cool innovations.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

De Increedabull Sinkin’ Canooman

– Last Updated: Feb-20-08 10:10 AM EST –

Normally ah' waars an old Stohlquist Max vest or an Extrasport Hi-Float B27 / Swiftwater Ranger dependin' on water, temperature or how much of a fat gut ah' gots at dat particular time. Ah' always wear me lifevest an' really do need a high flotation vest cuz dis boy sinks like a polecat dat jus' ett a 20 year old fruit cake...


life jacket on deck

Auto or manual?
Thought about one of those … manual inflate makes sense … use only when you want it. But suppose you couldn’t inflate (hit your head).

Curious what someone who uses one of these thinks…

Same here (nt)

A good roll is the most important safty feature a kayaker can have and I try to practice my roll frequently. If I had an automatic inflation pfd each roll would cost me $15 to rearm the inflator. Also, with an automatic inflator, I wouldn’t have a shot at swimming down in face of a collision.

I’m not sure about my facts, but I think most of the automatic inflators involve some material that dissolves in water to open the valve. Several years ago I decided to try inflating my pfd at a pool session. It fired off like an air bag. I think if it went off while I was trying to punch out through the surf I might have a heart attack.

I like my Kokatat Orbit Tour; unrestrictive, small pockets, reflective straps, good flotation, the fasteners keep it place pretty well. Comfortable enough to wear 100% of the time I’m in the water.

Would you recommend one of these for a beginner?

I don’t have a roll yet … if I end up in the water it’s gonna be unplanned. At the same time, I can get back in the boat in most conditions. Conventional life vest is comforting but not needed for a paddle float re-entry … probably would only inflate if I got seperated from the boat.

I like the idea of less bulk … especially when the air is hot.

Never realized the inflation was like an air bag …

Inflatable PFDs

– Last Updated: Feb-20-08 3:36 PM EST –

I would recommend an inflatable PFD for a beginner if the beginner could swim and was reasonably confident that he/she would retain the presence of mind to inflate the PFD in an emergency. When I say emergency I mean a situation where there was some distance between the kayaker and the Earth's enveloping gaseous covering of nitrogen and oxygen and there is some question in the kayaker's mind whether he/she can reduce that distance to zero. It is a simple operation and instuctions designating the party responsible for initiating the inflation are written on the pull tab in large friendly letters , it says "JERK TO INFLATE"

P.S. I was using some poetic licence when I said it inflated like an airbag. It was a number of years ago and I only recall that the inflation was suprisingly quick.

What if?
Your not a jerk! Do you have to find one?

“Chicks dig me…
… because I rarely wear a PFD, and when I do, it’s usually something unusual.”

Name that movie?

You guys are manly men if you can pull-off wearing a ladies pfd and a skirt at the same time.

I wear an Astral Aquavest. Very comfy and has a nice big pocket.

it’s just mr. rabbit…
…not plastic explosive or anything…

astral 300R, just to stay on topic…

Msfit rules.

My last PFD was a women’s design, also. Whatever is comfortable and you wear is better than anything bungied to your deck.

Great comfort.

Dude look like a lady


I use the manual inflatable Guardian 2500 from Cabela’s. It’s light, comfortable, non-bulky, doesn’t restrict movement at all, allows me to keep a hydration pack on my back, and is much cooler on hot days. I live in Miami, Florida and the summers here are oppressively hot and hummid. The reason I like to keep my hydration pack on my back is because I keep many essential items (water, flares, compass, signal mirror, survival gear, etc.) in it. If, for some reason, I get separated from my kayak, I want these things with me, not in the boat.

For kayaking, I wouldn’t recommend an automatic inflatable. I also wouldn’t recommend an inflatable to someone who isn’t comfortable and confident in the water. If there is any doubt that you can remain calm while getting dumped in the water, don’t get an inflatable. If you’re comfortable in the water, inflatables are great.

Pedro Almeida